I know that September is not quite fall, but for many of us September marks the beginning of it.
The weather is starting to get a little bit colder, the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air and the colors are starting to change.
Personally, I will be excited to not have to mow my lawn anymore.
Unfortunately, that means raking leaves and shoveling snow is not too far into the future.
This is to be expected.
We know it because there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
I am not a fan of yard work.
I don’t mind doing it, but it has never been something I cared to do.
So when I have to do it, I try to do everything I can to pretend I am not doing it. I listen to music. I think about things I am going to be doing for work or with my family. Anything and everything I can think of is fair game as long as I am not thinking about the task I don’t want to be doing.
So, you may ask, why do I do it?
Why not ignore it?
Better yet, why not just hire someone else to do it?
I do it for many reasons.
I do it to help out my wife.
I do it because I bet there are city or HOA ordinances that require me to do it.
I do it because paying someone would be too costly in the long term, especially when I have the tools and ability to do it.
But most of all, I do it because it is my responsibility.
Here, I know I am not alone.
Everyday I’m sure that you do things you don’t want to do.
However, you still push forward to complete the task until you have to do it again.
After all, it is your responsibility.
Fortunately, not all of life is like that. We also get to do the things we want to do.
In them we find happiness.
In both of them, I pray that you find joy.
You see, joy and happiness are not the same thing.
Happiness is based on circumstances whereas joy comes from God.
Paul writes in Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
In this way, I consider it a great joy to do the things I want to do.
It is a joy to share the word of God with you.
It is a joy to invite you to worship with us on Sundays.
If you need it, it is a joy to help you in our upcoming coat drive on Nov. 2.
You will not always be happy, but it is possible for you to always have joy, even in great trials.
James 1:2-3 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
I do not consider it a trial to do yard work (but perhaps in doing it I can find joy), but there are trials we all go through such as pain, suffering and loss.
Yes, in these things, I also hope you find joy.
Because it is in pain, suffering and loss we find joy in the peace Christ gives you (John 16:33), joy through perseverance (James, 1:2-3) and joy that his power works within us (2 Cor. 4:7-9).
If there is anything we at the Warrensburg Church of Christ can do for you, please let me know as it is our joy to be of service.
For now I leave you with the words of Paul in Romans 15:3, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”